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What is Global Civics?

There is a growing consensus concerning our growing global interdependence. What is less clear is how that interdependence should be managed. Some have argued that we cannot manage the growing web of our interdependence, if we do not have some kind of a global social contract, and if we do not know what kind of rapport we wish to have with people with whom we share our planet and destinies, but not our country. Global Civics is the social contract which we need to manage our global interdependence in the midst of our great diversity.

What is the Global Civics Academy?

The Global Civics Academy is an online academy founded by Hakan Altinay. Hakan Altinay is a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, global ethics fellow at the Carnegie Council, and world fellow at Yale University; he is the author of Global Civics: Responsibilities and Rights In An Interdependent World, and co-producer of the Global Civics documentary.


Sergei Guriev - Former President of the New Economics School in Moscow; Dingli Shen - Dean at Fudan University in Shanghai; and Kathryn Sikkink of Harvard University are Board members of the Global Civics Academy. 

What does the logo of the Global Civics Academy symbolize?

In many cultures, greetings have certain common features. Assalamu alaykum, Pax vobis and Shalom aleichem all mean "I come in peace" in Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Incidentally, the military salute is based on a convention to show that one is not bearing any weapons, and therefore comes in peace. In his recent book on the rituals and politics of cooperation, Richard Sennett argues that the practice of shaking hands is based on a similar logic, dating back to Ancient Greece. In India, Namaste means "I revere you" and is reciprocated with the same words. In South Africa, Sawubona means "I see you." We think these common traits are important and telling. It seems that humanity has decided that the best way to start an interaction is to confirm that all parties to the interaction are bearers of recognition and dignity, and that harm will not be part of that encounter. In recognition of this common mode to start an interaction, the logo of the Global Civics Academy is built around the open hand.

What does the course on Global Civics entail?

The course on Global Civics is offered by the Global Civics Academy, and covers issues ranging from climate change to pandemics. Students will examine which centripetal forces are pushing us together, and how they can be managed. The course surveys our options to manage our increasing global interdependence, and provides the tools for each student to come up with their own version of global civics. Lecturers include Hakan Altinay of the Brookings Institution, Amar Bhattacharya of G24, Gareth Evans of Australian National University, Mark Harrison of University of Oxford, Thaddeus Metz of University of Johannesburg, Branko Milanovic of the World Bank, Luis Moreno Ocampo of New York University, Dani Rodrik of the Institute for Advanced Studies, Mohamed Razeen Sally of National University of Singapore, Hans Joachim Schellnhuber of Potsdam Institute, Dingli Shen of Fudan University, Javier Solana of ESADE, and Ethan Zuckerman of MIT.


Students have the option to take the course for credit or audit the course. Both options are free. The course is designed as a standard, 14-week, or one semester course. It is commensurate with an advanced undergraduate course at one of the leading universities in the world. The course requires 60-hours of work, and can be completed in as little as a month or as long as a year. Each year, a small group of exceptionally successful students will be invited to join the Global Civics Academy as fellows.

How do I enroll in the course?

You can register by writing to the Registrar at For inquiries about the course, you can write to

What happens if I have a bad internet connection and have trouble watching the lectures?

Let us know and we will be able to mail you a CD with the lectures.

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